Everything is in the title, sorry if I misspelled it.

Why do Russian speakers call Vladimir Putin "Vladimir Vladimirovich" ?

  • 1
    Is Wikipedia allowed in the answers? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patronymic#Russian
    – bipll
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 22:06
  • 1
    Not only Russians, during Putin's visit to North Korea anchors on DPRK's TV referred him using fully qualified name: "Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin". With Korean accent, of course. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 7:38
  • 1
    Related russian.stackexchange.com/questions/14025/…
    – V.V.
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:12
  • Also related: russian.stackexchange.com/questions/11598/…
    – Vitaly
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:47
  • 2
    In Russia, when you speak face-to-face with someone older than you, or higher by status, or to emphasize respect - you name him by First - Patronymic. When you mention someone in absentia, this form is used to emphasize respect.
    – iTollu
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 21:42

3 Answers 3


A full Russian name consists of:

  • First name

  • Patronymic (derived from father's first name)

  • Last name, also known as family name.

Russian president's full name is: Vladimir (first name) Vladimirovich (patronymic) Putin (last name).

The following combinations of names are used in a formal environment:

  1. First Patronymic Last - Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin - very formal

  2. First Patronymic - Vladimir Vladimirovich - moderately formal

  3. First Last - Vladimir Putin - moderately formal, the same level of formality as #2.

More information on the order of Russian names is available here: What order are the parts of a full Russian name in?

  • 4
    I disagree, #2 and #3 are not interchangeable. #2 is used to address the person, #3 is use way rarely for that purposes.
    – shabunc
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:52
  • I agree that #3 is not a proper way to address someone formally. But it's an acceptable form to refer to someone formally. For example: "...сообщил «Известиям» участник работы над докладом член-корреспондент РАН Иван Иванов..." The answer does not state that all 3 forms can be used to address someone.
    – Vitaly
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 13:59
  • Journalists address to Putin: “Владимир Владимирович, бла-бла-бла ?” And, I think, it is the most popular way. Informal, you can address or refer to everyone whatever you like. If you create political meme about Вован or Donald, no-one will think about the pranker or the Duck. How journalists address to Trump by name?
    – yalov
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 18:15
  • It is worth adding that the patronymic is not based on the first name (this might be a cause of confusion, as both have root Vladimir). @yalov Vladimir Vladimirovich roughly corresponds to Mr. Putin in in English usage, although in case of a president one would usually say Mr. President.
    – Roger V.
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 5:01

Well, in Russia, your second name is your father's full name+vich/ovich For example, my name is Mikhail and my dad's name is vladimir (coincidentally). So, my full name is Mikhail Vladimirovich+family name. For females, the second name will have vna/ovna instead of vich/ovich. Hope this helps)

  • 1
    It's called "patronymic", not "second name". Come on, comments is full of it already. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 10:38

Russian names have a first name "imya" (Vladimir), second name "otchestvo" (Vladimirovich (the name of father)) and third name "familiya" (Putin).

  • It's called "patronymic", not "second name". Come on, comments is full of it already. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 10:38

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